[OSM-legal-talk] Database rights and who has them

Peter Miller peter.miller at itoworld.com
Fri Apr 3 13:08:53 BST 2009

On 3 Apr 2009, at 12:54, Richard Fairhurst wrote:

> Peter Miller wrote:
>> Note that it is our lawyer's opinion that much of OSM data
>> is protected by copyright and that the license does not
>> reflect this adequately and relies on database rights too much
> I haven't really got time for the full reply this thread deserves, and
> obviously in this context IANAL and your lawyer, er, is, but I think  
> this
> kind of misses the point.
> ODbL does not rely on database rights over and above anything else.  
> ODbL is
> entirely tripartite: copyright, db right, contract. There is nothing
> particularly specific to each application. Some of the _language_  
> has things
> in common with EU database right law but this isn't too surprising  
> given
> that it's a database we're talking about.
> Your lawyer may well be right that some copyright protection  
> subsists. But
> it doesn't really matter. There is virtually no case law on any of  
> these so
> we are all, whether qualified lawyers or amateur legal wankers,  
> mostly in
> the dark. Go back a few weeks to Steve's point about case law, and  
> BHB vs
> William Hill is of course the nearest there is to anything  
> definitive, but
> it's so intensely arcane even by the standards of IP law that three
> different people invariably get three different things out of it - a  
> quick
> Google demonstrates.
> What ODbL does absolutely right is recognise that, if you are going  
> to try
> and protect IP in database information (disregarding for the minute  
> CC's
> point, and my personal view, that we shouldn't), you _have_ to take a
> belt-and-braces approach. There might be copyright. There might be  
> db right.
> No-one, in the world, knows. The best way to get any certainty is to  
> arm
> yourself to the teeth and use a licence that copes with all three.

The main criticism from our lawyer was that by using the Factual  
Information License one denied any copyright in the material one  

However...  lets not do the work the lawyers should be doing - the  
phrase about having a dog and barking oneself comes to mind!



> cheers
> Richard
> (On a point of detail I agree that the FIL may potentially be a  
> complication
> we don't need. Certainly it needs a bit of thought.)
> -- 
> View this message in context: http://www.nabble.com/Database-rights-and-who-has-them-tp22824097p22866951.html
> Sent from the OpenStreetMap - Legal Talk mailing list archive at  
> Nabble.com.
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